The Trinamool Congress on Thursday called its leader Mamata Banerjee 'today's Jhansi ki Rani' and warned the Bharatiya Janata Party government that like the brave queen, the Trinamool Congress chief will not be cowed down by 'attacks' as the people were with her party.
Participating in the debate on the motion of thanks to the President's address in Lok Sabha, TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi drew a parallel between the central government and the pre-independence British regime, alleging that both have used threats and intimidation to quell opposition.
"Recently a movie called Manikarnika was released.... We are reminded of Queen of Jhansi.... Who was Rani Jhansi? She was an ordinary women whom people chose that she should guard Jhansi," he said.
"In Bengal also there is Rani Jhansi whose name is Mamata Banerjee. Mamata Banerjee said that 'sar kata sakte haen lekin sar jhuka sakte nahin' (we are ready to be beheaded but will not kowtow). She is today's Rani Jhansi who is an ordinary women and not a queen," Trivedi said, referring to the West Bengal chief minister.
"No matter how much you attack us it will not affect us as the public is with us," he said.
Against the backdrop of the standoff between the Centre and the West Bengal government on the CBI issue, he alleged that the central government was trying to frighten the TMC to toe its line.
"What did you do? You kept on attacking... you kept on saying that we will put the CBI after you, the ED after you. You should bow you head. Come with us else we will attack. And you did this," he said.
"What happened in Bengal a few days back was done by the British government," he explained.
"During British time what did the Britishers do? They used to scare you, threaten you. They used to enter your house and tell you to support them or else they would attack you. Today the condition is the same," he said.
Coming down heavily on the BJP-led government on its performance, he claimed that four things, including demonetisation and unemployment, 'will take you where you came from in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections'.
He asserted that demonetisation has 'completely failed' and unemployment is 'at its peak'.
"Your concept of new India is about destroying democracy, your new India is about destroying institutions, your new India is about destroying the Constitution of India...your new India is about creating fear, your new India is destroying RBI to CBI," he alleged.
Intervening in the debate, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that prior to 2014 for 10 years when the Congress was in power 'there was corruption and crony capitalism'.
"During this period, the country's wealth was looted and plundered brazenly," the Akali Dal leader alleged.
On the issue of farm distress, she said a lot is being said on farmers' issues but nobody is talking about 'those who were in power for 60-70 years and created this situation'.
Hitting out at the opposition, she said a lot of slogan are being raised on waiving farm loans and questioned the steps taken in the past to improve the condition of farmers on the ground level.